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Eddie Jones: 'England must adapt to the impact of coronavirus'

Eddie Jones: 'England must adapt to the impact of coronavirus'
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The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has announced plans to make 139 staff redundant to cope with £107million of lost revenue.

Eddie Jones has admitted he cannot predict the impact of the coronavirus on his England team but has vowed to find a solution to every problem.

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has announced plans to make 139 staff redundant to cope with £107million of lost revenue.

The economic threats of the coronavirus shutdown means the RFU will for the first time lift its previous ring-fencing of the England team budget.

Head coach Jones insisted England must accept changes as inevitable for the 2019 World Cup finalists, in light of job losses and budget cuts at the union.

Eddie Jones File photo
Eddie Jones, pictured, admits off-field change will be inevitable for England due to the coronavirus (Tess Derry/PA)

“I think you’ve got to keep everything in perspective with what’s happening in society, it’s a difficult time for sport and we’ll just have to adapt and that’s part of the challenges of everyone at the moment, adapting to what’s placed in front of you,” said Jones.

“It’s changing all the time, and you’ve got to adapt to whatever situation you have to adapt to. I’m not expecting anything, I don’t have a crystal ball to look into.

“All I know is what’s going to happen today, it’s been difficult enough getting back to this side of the world.

“So you just take each challenge as it comes, and as every challenge comes we’ll find a solution to it.”

England boss Jones has accepted a 25 per cent pay cut while the RFU battles to balance the books in light of the pandemic shutdown.

The Gallagher Premiership remains on course for a return to action in August, but England’s autumn Test schedule is yet to be finalised.

Asked how the RFU’s revised finances will affect the England team and his resources as head coach, Jones said: “Look I don’t know, I’m not an economist, all I am is a rugby coach.

“And at some stage I’ll get told the games, I’ll get told what staff I have and what players are available.

“Any sort of cuts that we have to take as staff or players now, we’ve got to look at it in terms of what’s happening in society.

“I feel for anyone who’s had a cut, I feel for people who’ve lost their jobs, and we know that’s happening at the moment.”

Of his own salary reduction, Jones added: “I don’t think it’s any grand gesture by me, I was asked to do it, I understand the situation.

“Sometimes you have to make sacrifices. And the sacrifice I’m making personally as compared to what other people are making in sport and in society is negligible.”

Powerhouse centre Manu Tuilagi has saved his England career by securing a move to Sale Sharks having left Leicester Tigers.

The 29-year-old would have made himself unavailable for England had he moved to an overseas club, but Jones revealed his delight at the Samoa-born star staying on home soil.

“Look Manu made up his mind what he was going to do,” said Jones.

“We had a couple of phone calls, we kept in contact the whole time, I gave him a small piece of advice.

“He knew what he wanted to do, he’s a valuable Test player, his performance in the World Cup and the Six Nations indicated there’s still more in him and I’m delighted by his decision.

“It’s obviously a difficult time for everyone at the moment, and we’re glad he’s made that decision.”

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